Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Techno-quette => Topic started by: AzaleaBloom on March 09, 2014, 05:24:50 PM

Title: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: AzaleaBloom on March 09, 2014, 05:24:50 PM
Minor BG:

"Anthony" and I were friends in high school.  He graduated a year ahead of me, went one direction, I went another.  Last time I saw him was 12 years ago.  About four years ago, I friended him on Facebook.  We exchanged a handful of messages, catching up on the years, and that was that.  Since then, I have always wished him a happy birthday when the notification pops up.  Usually I get a "thank you."  It's generally the only time during the year he's even active on Facebook.

I did so today, and got the following head-scratching response from him:

"I read your birthday wishes, and I wonder to what extent I still know you. Have you tried to contact me in the past year, other than these two words? I don't believe so. Not that I'm saying I'm not guilty here, because I haven't exactly kept current in your life."

Not sure why, but something about it rubs me the wrong way.  Am I being over-sensitive?  And what would the proper response be?

Again, please tell me if I'm being over-sensitive.  I'm just a little confused about the response he gave me!

Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: katycoo on March 09, 2014, 05:29:37 PM
No, that is strange.

I don't think you have to know someone well to wish them a happy birthday.  I send birthday wishes to most people I'm cnnected with on FB - even those who I have little interaction.  I genuinely hope they have a nice day!  But if he is overthinking FB, I'd probably just defriend.  FB isn't supposed to be that complicated.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: MrTango on March 09, 2014, 05:35:06 PM
Wow.  I'm pretty sure my response would be to just de-friend him.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: TootsNYC on March 09, 2014, 05:46:11 PM
Yeah, if he's thinking, "Why am I in touch with her at all?" then he can just defriend you.

It's really not polite to "call someone out" on not being a particularly well-connected friend.

I'd vote to defriend him too. Maybe send a reply, "sorry to bother you," first, nothing more, and then defriend immediately.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Onyx_TKD on March 09, 2014, 05:49:18 PM
He's acting very strangely. Was this response in a private message or posted publicly on his wall? If the former, it's bizarre and rather rude. I'm not even sure what he's upset about--is he upset that you've been distant (although he hasn't bothered to keep in touch, either) or that you had the nerve to wish him a happy birthday? If the latter, I think it's appallingly rude for him to publicly "call you out" for the sin of...wishing a facebook friend a happy birthday. However, he's just making himself look crazy, since having facebook acquaintances and wishing them happy birthday are both very normal uses of facebook.

I think PP's suggestions of defriending without comment are probably the best way to go. However, if you want to respond, I think it would be fine to say something (in a private message) like: "If you were dissatisfied with our facebook friendship, then you were always welcome to either get in touch or defriend me. All I did was wish you well on your birthday, even though we've been out of contact. Since this seems to offend you, perhaps it's better we do not stay in touch." I would suggest defriending after sending the message. If he decides he wants to be in contact after all, he has the option of apologizing and sending another friend request.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Zizi-K on March 09, 2014, 05:50:22 PM
Is is possible this guy does not realize that FB basically prompts you to write messages for people on their birthday? This guy sounds like a weirdo with a chip on his shoulder or a bug up his *ahem*. Defriending is probably the mature thing to do. I would be tempted to respond, "I rescind my birthday wishes if that makes you feel better."
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: JenJay on March 09, 2014, 05:53:31 PM
Weird!

I'd probably reply "I apologize if I somehow offended you. Facebook notified me that it was your birthday so I took a moment to acknowledge that, nothing more or less was intended." Maybe add "If being mere acquaintances with people on Facebook bothers you, and you choose to remove me, I understand." Just in case he's hoping to hear "Oh but I do want to keep in closer touch!!" and see you make some effort there.

I'd let future birthdays pass without comment.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 09, 2014, 07:27:52 PM
I'll be honest, I feel the same as him. Why wish someone a happy birthday when you have no contact with them through out the rest of the year. But I would never say something to someone who decides to make a post when they get the FB prompt.

Because this bugs me, I change my settings on my bday to limit the people who can post on my wall on my bday. If someone really wants to send a greeting through FB, they PM me.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: GreenBird on March 09, 2014, 07:44:21 PM
He might not have meant it as a rebuke.  He may just be in one of those weird melancholy birthday moods, wondering about the state of his re-lationships and life.  Maybe I'm just projecting because I've been feeling pretty disconnected myself lately, but he could just be musing aloud.  It really wasn't the best move for him to say that in response to a Facebook 'happy birthday' post - it seems odd and out of place without the rest of his thought process!  It's hard to tell where that comment came from.  I'm not sure what a proper response would be - maybe just "Facebook reminded me it was your birthday, so I thought I'd wish you a good one. Take care." 
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Daydream on March 09, 2014, 08:02:21 PM
Is there any chance this guy is interested in you romantically, or even just in becoming closer friends, and is using this clumsy response as an opening to get to know you better?  I ask because it reminds me of something a very awkward guy I once knew might have written. 

Instead of saying something more direct (which would have been appealing), he would just say odd, vague things (in person and email) that I think *he* thought were clever and charming, without ever moving forward and asking me out. 

I think Anthony might be expecting a response like, "You're right, we haven't really kept in touch.  We should fix that!  What's new?"

Regardless of his intent, I agree that I might defriend him.  And, I might use Toots' suggestion of sending, "Sorry to have bothered you," before doing so.  His reply was just too abrasive for me.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 09, 2014, 08:06:42 PM
"So I guess the fruit and chocolate bouquet I ordered from Edible Arrangements with the inscription 'BFFs Forever" would really be out of line?" /end snark.

Add me to club "He's overthinking it."  There are people on my fbook wall who are there because they just haven't done anything to annoy or offend me but their wish of happy birthday on my wall is more conversation than we had in person at any point. Some I barely remember the relationship we had but friended them cause they asked.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: sammycat on March 09, 2014, 08:09:36 PM
I'd just defriend and move on.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: veronaz on March 09, 2014, 08:34:48 PM
OP, I wouldn't say you're over-sensitive, but I do think you're over-thinking it.  Just de-friend and move on.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on March 09, 2014, 08:37:36 PM
It was his birthday.  My guess is that he was PUI (Posting Under the Influence). I'd just ignore it and see if things go back to the status quo.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: veronaz on March 09, 2014, 09:03:00 PM
It was his birthday.  My guess is that he was PUI (Posting Under the Influence). I'd just ignore it and see if things go back to the status quo.

The status-quo was that for several years they haven't communicated, except when OP wishes him a Happy Birthday.  His note has a tinge of "why bother" bordering on annoyance.  Time to bail, imo.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Specky on March 09, 2014, 09:33:46 PM
I would delete my comment from his wall, defriend, and move on.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Deetee on March 09, 2014, 11:32:10 PM
It's so silly. So you aren't close friends, so what? If I find out that it is someone's birthday I wish them a happy birthday. Person at gas station, bank teller, whoever.

If he doesn't want to be Facebook friends with aquantences that's fine. He can defriend them all. But skip the snark.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Runningstar on March 10, 2014, 05:06:53 AM
Minor BG:

"I read your birthday wishes, and I wonder to what extent I still know you. Have you tried to contact me in the past year, other than these two words? I don't believe so. Not that I'm saying I'm not guilty here, because I haven't exactly kept current in your life."

He sounds lonely and a bit lacking in social skills to me.  I have a facebook friend that would totally have written something like that to me, and I may be interpreting it with him in mind.  So I hear the hurt and the pain in there.  Do you want to be friends with this person?  If yes, then write back something and meet up or catch up with him.  If not, I'd say not to make a snarky reply, but just quietly defriend him or ignore that comment. 
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: CakeEater on March 10, 2014, 05:45:19 AM
I'll be honest, I feel the same as him. Why wish someone a happy birthday when you have no contact with them through out the rest of the year. But I would never say something to someone who decides to make a post when they get the FB prompt.

Because this bugs me, I change my settings on my bday to limit the people who can post on my wall on my bday. If someone really wants to send a greeting through FB, they PM me.

I do as well - I just don't have my birthday listed, so FB doesn't prompt anyone. I don't really like the idea of people wishing me happy birthday when they wouldn't have known/remembered without the prompt.

I certainly don't get annoyed at anyone forgetting, though, or with wishing me a happy birthday if they find out somehow. Good wishes are good wishes, right?

What a strange thing to say. Definitely defriend.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Jones on March 10, 2014, 07:20:18 AM
12 years since high school? I'm guessing he hit the big 3-0 and went into a birthday funk. Let it go, defriend if you want, or not.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Hollanda on March 10, 2014, 08:00:03 AM
It was his birthday.  My guess is that he was PUI (Posting Under the Influence). I'd just ignore it and see if things go back to the status quo.

That was my first thought too ^^^. Defriend and ignore. 
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: TeraNova15 on March 10, 2014, 08:08:35 AM
It was his birthday.  My guess is that he was PUI (Posting Under the Influence). I'd just ignore it and see if things go back to the status quo.

That was my first thought too ^^^. Defriend and ignore.

I agree. That's a really strange response, sonsidering that FB reminds you to post a Happy Birthday message. The usual is just a "like" or a "thank you" and everone moves on. I def ignore.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Luci on March 10, 2014, 09:01:31 AM
12 years since high school? I'm guessing he hit the big 3-0 and went into a birthday funk. Let it go, defriend if you want, or not.
It was his birthday.  My guess is that he was PUI (Posting Under the Influence). I'd just ignore it and see if things go back to the status quo.

I wouldn't bother to unfriend unless you genuinely are not interested in how his life is going. I do think OP might be overthinking this.

I would ignore, however.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: kategillian on March 10, 2014, 09:04:30 AM
I would say 'You're absolutely right'. And them de-friend. What the heck, I say happy birthday to total strangers if I find out that it is their birthday.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: squashedfrog on March 10, 2014, 10:43:19 AM
To be honest if he was that bothered about it all, why be friends in Facebook eith you all this time? He's had ample time to de friend people who he hasn't had contact with for years, do why the PA?   Defriend, he's a drama llama.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: jaxsue on March 10, 2014, 11:07:38 AM
I would delete my comment from his wall, defriend, and move on.

This.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: TheaterDiva1 on March 10, 2014, 11:50:15 AM
If it's that big a deal to him, why didn't HE make a move to contact you before? Works both ways...
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Arila on March 10, 2014, 01:21:53 PM
I'll be honest, I feel the same as him. Why wish someone a happy birthday when you have no contact with them through out the rest of the year. But I would never say something to someone who decides to make a post when they get the FB prompt.

Because this bugs me, I change my settings on my bday to limit the people who can post on my wall on my bday. If someone really wants to send a greeting through FB, they PM me.

*Like

Regarding the bolded, that's the part that kind of gets me about FB and birthdays. People don't know/remember your birthday, they had to be prompted to recognize it. Might have gone all year without a single like or comment on their page, but since FB makes it almost zero effort to do so, now all these somewhat random people come out of the woodwork.

Also, I do not see it at all as being the same as someone wishing happy birthday in real life as they are going about their day. That's somewhat transient, whereas, when you look at your birthday wall posts there's a motley assortment of friends and near strangers. Perhaps missing some people you care about, but yay! 10 people who you couldn't pick out of a lineup. ::)
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: violinp on March 10, 2014, 01:32:36 PM
I'll be honest, I feel the same as him. Why wish someone a happy birthday when you have no contact with them through out the rest of the year. But I would never say something to someone who decides to make a post when they get the FB prompt.

Because this bugs me, I change my settings on my bday to limit the people who can post on my wall on my bday. If someone really wants to send a greeting through FB, they PM me.

*Like

Regarding the bolded, that's the part that kind of gets me about FB and birthdays. People don't know/remember your birthday, they had to be prompted to recognize it. Might have gone all year without a single like or comment on their page, but since FB makes it almost zero effort to do so, now all these somewhat random people come out of the woodwork.

Also, I do not see it at all as being the same as someone wishing happy birthday in real life as they are going about their day. That's somewhat transient, whereas, when you look at your birthday wall posts there's a motley assortment of friends and near strangers. Perhaps missing some people you care about, but yay! 10 people who you couldn't pick out of a lineup. ::)

That's somewhat presumptive. I only remember my family members' birthdays, but it's not as if I only care about my family and to Hades with everyone else. I just don't have time to remember 200 - some days out of the year that all the people I care about were born on. It's not the mark of a bad friend not to remember things like that. Even of the family members I know the birthdays of, I only remember well my immediate family (mom, dad, and twin sister), grandparents (only two left) and a cousin whose birthday is 2 weeks before mine and Cabbage's. It doesn't mean I don't care about my uncles and aunts, and they know that.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Arila on March 10, 2014, 01:46:34 PM
I'll be honest, I feel the same as him. Why wish someone a happy birthday when you have no contact with them through out the rest of the year. But I would never say something to someone who decides to make a post when they get the FB prompt.

Because this bugs me, I change my settings on my bday to limit the people who can post on my wall on my bday. If someone really wants to send a greeting through FB, they PM me.

*Like

Regarding the bolded, that's the part that kind of gets me about FB and birthdays. People don't know/remember your birthday, they had to be prompted to recognize it. Might have gone all year without a single like or comment on their page, but since FB makes it almost zero effort to do so, now all these somewhat random people come out of the woodwork.

Also, I do not see it at all as being the same as someone wishing happy birthday in real life as they are going about their day. That's somewhat transient, whereas, when you look at your birthday wall posts there's a motley assortment of friends and near strangers. Perhaps missing some people you care about, but yay! 10 people who you couldn't pick out of a lineup. ::)

That's somewhat presumptive. I only remember my family members' birthdays, but it's not as if I only care about my family and to Hades with everyone else. I just don't have time to remember 200 - some days out of the year that all the people I care about were born on. It's not the mark of a bad friend not to remember things like that. Even of the family members I know the birthdays of, I only remember well my immediate family (mom, dad, and twin sister), grandparents (only two left) and a cousin whose birthday is 2 weeks before mine and Cabbage's. It doesn't mean I don't care about my uncles and aunts, and they know that.

The differentiating line is whether or not that is the only contact you have (FB birthday wishes) the other 364 days of the year they can't be bothered to remember you exist, and they only remembered because FB told them to. If you're commenting on posts, liking things and posting interesting things to their wall, even if your only contact is online, I don't find the bday stuff nearly so offensive -- just the knee jerk reaction of people who don't care any other day, didn't know it was my bday until FB prompted (not reminded, but PROMPTED) them to go say something, and probably forgot all about it 5 minutes later.

I don't remember everyone's birthdays either, and it's not that I don't use reminder tools, but at the very least I deliberately set them up, and also set the reminders for more than a week ahead so that I can send a card.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: RingTailedLemur on March 10, 2014, 02:32:09 PM
I'd probably defriend.  A snarky reply like that is just too much drama.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: aussie_chick on March 11, 2014, 04:53:52 AM
I can understand the feeling that comes from someone on facebook wishing you happy birthday. Perhaps at times it might seem a little fake. However, if this is the way things have been in this facebook friendship, I don't understand this weird response on this occasion unless as others have suggested, it was a milestone and he was depressed at life and having a "poor me" moment.

don't engage the crazy. I'd either ignore the comment completely and delete or if for some reason you want to remain friends, delete your comment and ignore his message and see what happens next.

If this is a one off act of weirdness, maybe let it go for now and see what happens. If he continues with it, then delete - and perhaps block too!
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 11, 2014, 06:53:13 AM
I'll be honest, I feel the same as him. Why wish someone a happy birthday when you have no contact with them through out the rest of the year. But I would never say something to someone who decides to make a post when they get the FB prompt.

Because this bugs me, I change my settings on my bday to limit the people who can post on my wall on my bday. If someone really wants to send a greeting through FB, they PM me.

*Like

Regarding the bolded, that's the part that kind of gets me about FB and birthdays. People don't know/remember your birthday, they had to be prompted to recognize it. Might have gone all year without a single like or comment on their page, but since FB makes it almost zero effort to do so, now all these somewhat random people come out of the woodwork.

Also, I do not see it at all as being the same as someone wishing happy birthday in real life as they are going about their day. That's somewhat transient, whereas, when you look at your birthday wall posts there's a motley assortment of friends and near strangers. Perhaps missing some people you care about, but yay! 10 people who you couldn't pick out of a lineup. ::)

I'm very thankful for those birthday reminders, honestly.  While I have those of my DH, kids, brother and bff memorized, I have quite a few relatives and honestly can never remember all of their birthdays so I'm very glad that fbook does give those little reminders so I can wish aunts, uncles and cousins happy birthday when it comes around.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Harriet Jones on March 11, 2014, 07:08:03 AM
I like the FB birthday reminders, too.  I can remember immediate family members' birthdays, but I'm not going to remember all of my friends' birthdays. 
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Clareish on March 11, 2014, 09:47:18 AM
This guy's response reminds me of those status updates people used to do about 'cleaning' out their friends list, and if you are truly a friend to reply, or whatever. Luckily, I don't see those much anymore, if ever. It always felt very much like a fishing lure, "oh you're amazing! of course we're friends" blah blah blah.

So, I'm also in same "he's overthinking it" corner, and I would probably ignore him and/or defriend him.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: FlyingBaconMouse on March 11, 2014, 10:14:03 AM
I kind of think of "Happy birthday" the same way as "How are you?" I don't feel it's a particularly intimate greeting, and I'd only respond to it with full emotions bared if a close friend were saying it.

For that matter, I also can't see any way someone on the receiving end of that reply would go on to repent! and heroically beef up the friendship, so essentially, the whole thing seems like a trap.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Arila on March 11, 2014, 12:14:52 PM
Sorry, I feel like I've been really misunderstood here. I have no issue (and USE!) reminders for birthdays.

I do not have an issue with using reminders to help to acknowledge the birthdays of people  I care about and who care about me. (Both close friends and more far-flung extended family). I would want to recognize and mark their birthdays, regardless of the way I remembered the date.

My point is all all all all about the random, almost strangers, (co workers from my first job 15 years ago, high school classmates, etc) who I've basically lost touch with. Well wishes, in my mind aren't about quantity, but about quality. A half-hearted "FB told me to write you, who are you again? Oh well Happy bday" is not in any way a quality greeting. Why bother? Now I look back at my timeline and I barely recognize the names of the people who wished me happy birthday last year.

They didn't do it because they care, they did it because there was a button to click.


ETA: I just thought of the right word to describe how I feel about birthday wishes from people who never talk to me except when FB tells them they should: its spam. Strangers spamming me on my birthday. How is that fun? :(
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Harriet Jones on March 11, 2014, 12:27:11 PM
They didn't do it because they care, they did it because there was a button to click.

You also have to take a couple of seconds to type something.

I probably get birthday wishes from maybe a tenth of my friends list, most of whom I regularly interact with online or in real life.  I don't assign special meaning to any of these messages, but I do appreciate that they took the time to write something.  I also don't think anything bad of anyone who doesn't wish me a happy birthday.  It's just Facebook after all.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Goosey on March 11, 2014, 12:34:30 PM
It's like receiving a generic card.

It might not be particularly meaningful, but someone still took the time to get it to you to express well wishes.

I don't know if we've gotten to the point where we reject well wishes because they're not good or meaningful enough except in the cases where it's passive aggressive.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 11, 2014, 12:43:02 PM
They didn't do it because they care, they did it because there was a button to click.

You also have to take a couple of seconds to type something.

I probably get birthday wishes from maybe a tenth of my friends list, most of whom I regularly interact with online or in real life.  I don't assign special meaning to any of these messages, but I do appreciate that they took the time to write something.  I also don't think anything bad of anyone who doesn't wish me a happy birthday.  It's just Facebook after all.

It really doesn't bother me at all, heck sometimes it's nice.  And I wouldn't assume that they don't care.  Like I said, with most of my extended family and friends, I don't remember all their birthdays, but I do care about them.  Sometimes it's a case of "I know Cousin E's birthday is in the beginning of September, but can't remember what day!" and that's where fbook helps.  Also I have new friends from church and don't know all their birthdays yet so fbook helps there, too.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: YoginiSaysYes on March 11, 2014, 12:44:08 PM
Quote
My point is all all all all about the random, almost strangers, (co workers from my first job 15 years ago, high school classmates, etc) who I've basically lost touch with. Well wishes, in my mind aren't about quantity, but about quality. A half-hearted "FB told me to write you, who are you again? Oh well Happy bday" is not in any way a quality greeting. Why bother? Now I look back at my timeline and I barely recognize the names of the people who wished me happy birthday last year.

They didn't do it because they care, they did it because there was a button to click.


ETA: I just thought of the right word to describe how I feel about birthday wishes from people who never talk to me except when FB tells them they should: its spam. Strangers spamming me on my birthday. How is that fun?

I'm sorry, I think it's a little...maybe petty isn't the right word, but that's what's coming to mind, to interpret a simple "Happy Birthday" as spam and to ascribe just poor motivations to well-wishers because their greeting isn't "quality" enough for you. These people are on your friends list. They're being nice. They saw it was your birthday and thought "Gee, I like her, I hope her day is a happy one." If their perfectly kind message on your birthday is that annoying to you, I can't imagine why you'd want them to be your FB friend. (General you.)

Who doesn't like being told Happy Birthday? Mine's on Friday, and the guy who checked my ID today said it to me and it made me happy. He was "prompted" by looking at my license. So?
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 11, 2014, 12:55:33 PM
It's like receiving a generic card.

It might not be particularly meaningful, but someone still took the time to get it to you to express well wishes.

I don't know if we've gotten to the point where we reject well wishes because they're not good or meaningful enough except in the cases where it's passive aggressive.

I can't equate the effort of selecting, signing and sending a generic card with writing Happy Bday on someone's wall based on an auto prompt.  Even tools like E-greetings require you to select who you want to send a greeting to and input their bday before it prompts you to.

I just don't get the motivation of wanting to wish someone happy birthday that you have no other contact with during the year. It feels odd. And I think it also makes me feel like I need to remember who sent me a greeting so I do the same for them. And since I'm on FB about once or twice a week I know I'll miss a lot of those prompts.

But I think I also have a slight aversion to them because when DD was in HS it was also seen as another popularity measure and I found it silly.

I'm happy to get birthday greetings via FB. But I do find receiving them from people who I think "wow, I forgot we were even friended" a little odd.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Onyx_TKD on March 11, 2014, 01:55:23 PM
Sorry, I feel like I've been really misunderstood here. I have no issue (and USE!) reminders for birthdays.

I do not have an issue with using reminders to help to acknowledge the birthdays of people  I care about and who care about me. (Both close friends and more far-flung extended family). I would want to recognize and mark their birthdays, regardless of the way I remembered the date.

My point is all all all all about the random, almost strangers, (co workers from my first job 15 years ago, high school classmates, etc) who I've basically lost touch with. Well wishes, in my mind aren't about quantity, but about quality. A half-hearted "FB told me to write you, who are you again? Oh well Happy bday" is not in any way a quality greeting. Why bother? Now I look back at my timeline and I barely recognize the names of the people who wished me happy birthday last year.

They didn't do it because they care, they did it because there was a button to click.


ETA: I just thought of the right word to describe how I feel about birthday wishes from people who never talk to me except when FB tells them they should: its spam. Strangers spamming me on my birthday. How is that fun? :(

If you consider these people "random, almost strangers," "barely recognize the[ir] names," and consider well-wishes from them to be "spam," then why do you stay facebook friends with them?  ??? A facebook friendship is not a permanent commitment, so if you're to the point that even a brief birthday wish is annoying to you, why not defriend them? If you are as out of touch with them as you say, they probably won't even notice!

The thing is, different people use facebook differently. If (general) you only want meaningful, "quality" contact with people who you're close to, that's great. OTOH, if you want to have huge, far-flung network of almost everyone you've ever met (and some you haven't), even if you only really make contact on birthdays, then that's great, too. But because everyone uses it in their own way, then really the only way to keep your own facebook account running the way you prefer is to manage your own settings and friends list.

Apparently, your "almost stranger" friends are fine with having distant acquaintances on their friends list. It's likely that they wish you a happy birthday because they enjoy having even distant "friends" do the same for them. However, you don't seem to like either of these things, so why leave the connection? All it does is allow them to unwittingly annoy you, which isn't what you want, and almost certainly isn't what they want, either!
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Fleur on March 11, 2014, 01:58:56 PM
Quote
My point is all all all all about the random, almost strangers, (co workers from my first job 15 years ago, high school classmates, etc) who I've basically lost touch with. Well wishes, in my mind aren't about quantity, but about quality. A half-hearted "FB told me to write you, who are you again? Oh well Happy bday" is not in any way a quality greeting. Why bother? Now I look back at my timeline and I barely recognize the names of the people who wished me happy birthday last year.

They didn't do it because they care, they did it because there was a button to click.


ETA: I just thought of the right word to describe how I feel about birthday wishes from people who never talk to me except when FB tells them they should: its spam. Strangers spamming me on my birthday. How is that fun?

I'm sorry, I think it's a little...maybe petty isn't the right word, but that's what's coming to mind, to interpret a simple "Happy Birthday" as spam and to ascribe just poor motivations to well-wishers because their greeting isn't "quality" enough for you. These people are on your friends list. They're being nice. They saw it was your birthday and thought "Gee, I like her, I hope her day is a happy one." If their perfectly kind message on your birthday is that annoying to you, I can't imagine why you'd want them to be your FB friend. (General you.)

Who doesn't like being told Happy Birthday? Mine's on Friday, and the guy who checked my ID today said it to me and it made me happy. He was "prompted" by looking at my license. So?

I completely agree. I find both birthdays and facebook to be fleeting, ephemeral entities, so having one impact on the other seems apt to me. I think that the man in the OP was rude.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Addy on March 11, 2014, 02:02:57 PM


ETA: I just thought of the right word to describe how I feel about birthday wishes from people who never talk to me except when FB tells them they should: its spam. Strangers spamming me on my birthday. How is that fun? :(

I think that if you have people on Facebook that are strangers to you, so much so that it bothers you to have them wish you a happy birthday and consider it spam, you should be cleaning up your friends list. All general you's.

That's the nature of Facebook. You open up your information to all of your Facebook friends. Some people collect friends and have hundreds of them. Some use it only for close friends and family. I guess you (again, general) have to pick one or the other.

ETA: yeah, what Onyx_TKD said.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Twik on March 11, 2014, 02:36:45 PM


ETA: I just thought of the right word to describe how I feel about birthday wishes from people who never talk to me except when FB tells them they should: its spam. Strangers spamming me on my birthday. How is that fun? :(

I think that if you have people on Facebook that are strangers to you, so much so that it bothers you to have them wish you a happy birthday and consider it spam, you should be cleaning up your friends list. All general you's.

Absolutely. Why do you (general) have people on your friends list, if you don't actually want to hear from them, even a simple "happy birthday"?

There is no general obligation to have Facebook friends. If hearing from people sounds like spam, then for goodness' sake take them off your friends list, so that *you* don't spam them by notifications of birthdays that you don't want them to congratulate you on.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Arila on March 11, 2014, 05:16:51 PM
OK, you guys got me. I actually...don't really use facebook as a social network at all. I signed up for it because some of my friends did way back when it first started, I accept pretty much any friend request that people send to me (if I can vaguely remember them), but I haven't posted...well, since I changed my marital status in 2009. I do sometimes scroll through to read some of the funny links my "friends" post, or to walk down memory lane, "What ever happened to Bob? -- Wow he had a kid and moved to a different state last August! Well, great for him!" or "Wow, the girl with the locker next to mine Freshman Year is an actress --- with an IMDB page! I have an 'in' to play Kevin Bacon now!" These are equally valid uses of Facebook. Usually privacy settings means I wouldn't be able to see any of those nuggets without being "friends".

My timeline (right term? Or Wall?) is about 90% "happy birthday" wishes throughout the years. Wishes that I almost never see on the day, never once reciprocated, and might not see for months. They are completely ineffective, and just scream "I don't even know Arila well enough to know that she won't see this, oh well, it is my FB obligation!" (imagine, if you will, while I say the italicized phrase, me striking an ironic and funny super hero pose, index finger pointed to the sky, eyes focused on something wonderful that looks like flying unicorns in the distance) The impersonal, but obligatory, absolutely minimum effort represented by FB birthday wishes taints the whole thing. For me, it turns a weak positive sentiment, into a negative one.

I posted my reasoning and feelings on here to try to articulate "the other side". I don't, and would not ever send a message like the one described in the OP. Apparently it's just as baffling for you guys up close as it was from the OP.

But I think I also have a slight aversion to them because when DD was in HS it was also seen as another popularity measure and I found it silly.

Pod to your whole post, but my feelings have a flavor of this particularly.

I find both birthdays and facebook to be fleeting, ephemeral entities, so having one impact on the other seems apt to me.
I think this is kind of funny, because I feel the opposite. The internet is forever. As soon as you release your photos, sayings, data etc, its almost impossible to erase. I'm sure anyone with racy pics leaked by their BF or party pics that cost them a job offer don't feel like FB is fleeting or ephemeral. :)
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: CakeEater on March 11, 2014, 09:02:17 PM
OK, you guys got me. I actually...don't really use facebook as a social network at all. I signed up for it because some of my friends did way back when it first started, I accept pretty much any friend request that people send to me (if I can vaguely remember them), but I haven't posted...well, since I changed my marital status in 2009. I do sometimes scroll through to read some of the funny links my "friends" post, or to walk down memory lane, "What ever happened to Bob? -- Wow he had a kid and moved to a different state last August! Well, great for him!" or "Wow, the girl with the locker next to mine Freshman Year is an actress --- with an IMDB page! I have an 'in' to play Kevin Bacon now!" These are equally valid uses of Facebook. Usually privacy settings means I wouldn't be able to see any of those nuggets without being "friends".

My timeline (right term? Or Wall?) is about 90% "happy birthday" wishes throughout the years. Wishes that I almost never see on the day, never once reciprocated, and might not see for months. They are completely ineffective, and just scream "I don't even know Arila well enough to know that she won't see this, oh well, it is my FB obligation!" (imagine, if you will, while I say the italicized phrase, me striking an ironic and funny super hero pose, index finger pointed to the sky, eyes focused on something wonderful that looks like flying unicorns in the distance) The impersonal, but obligatory, absolutely minimum effort represented by FB birthday wishes taints the whole thing. For me, it turns a weak positive sentiment, into a negative one.

I posted my reasoning and feelings on here to try to articulate "the other side". I don't, and would not ever send a message like the one described in the OP. Apparently it's just as baffling for you guys up close as it was from the OP.

But I think I also have a slight aversion to them because when DD was in HS it was also seen as another popularity measure and I found it silly.

Pod to your whole post, but my feelings have a flavor of this particularly.

I find both birthdays and facebook to be fleeting, ephemeral entities, so having one impact on the other seems apt to me.
I think this is kind of funny, because I feel the opposite. The internet is forever. As soon as you release your photos, sayings, data etc, its almost impossible to erase. I'm sure anyone with racy pics leaked by their BF or party pics that cost them a job offer don't feel like FB is fleeting or ephemeral. :)

I completely get what you're saying. I think the same. I don't have my birthday listed to avoid the above issue. And actually, a couple of years, a person has remembered (cousin, co-worker) and wished me happy birthday, which I thought was really nice.

For me, it's not the means of FB, but the fact that by listing my birthday, I am agreeing to broadcast it to everyone on my list, basically telling people it's my birthday. Then someone takes a few seconds to type "Happy Birthday", which I agree, is the absolute least effort anyone could put into giving me good wishes.

I understand that they're being nice, and I do appreciate that (I would never express anything other than gratitude), but I'd rather have 1 person, or no people actually, remember my birthday and go to the effort of sending a text, logging into FB specifically to send me a message, call, or send a card, than 20 or more people writing happy birthday because I have told them that it's my birthday.

To me it's the difference between someone noticing while looking at your licence for a different purpose that it's your b'day and voluntarily wishing you a happy one, and you pointing it out when you hand your licence over and the wishes becoming an obligation.
 
I do wish people a happy birthday via FB, but I actually don't say it to people I have very little contact with otherwise, and I don't say it if I'm very close to them, because I will have sent a card or an email, or will see them for their birthday. Other people seem to like it, so I do it, but I prefer to not receive them, so I take myself out of the equation.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Arila on March 12, 2014, 09:45:50 AM
So for the facebook savvy people out there, is there a way to both leave your birthday visible to friends but not have it send announcements? Because I made a deliberate decision to make the date visible to friends if someone wants to look at my profile and see the date, but don't want it to be pushed (it's that push/pull thing that 'Da Dame is always talking about). I have settings such that FB sends the notice, and I should take control (if possible).
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Harriet Jones on March 12, 2014, 10:16:45 AM
So for the facebook savvy people out there, is there a way to both leave your birthday visible to friends but not have it send announcements? Because I made a deliberate decision to make the date visible to friends if someone wants to look at my profile and see the date, but don't want it to be pushed (it's that push/pull thing that 'Da Dame is always talking about). I have settings such that FB sends the notice, and I should take control (if possible).

FB friends' birthdays show up a few ways for me - (1) on the events page, (2) in the right hand column on the newsfeed page, or (3) if mutual friends have written something on the birthday person's timeline. I don't get any other notifications.  I don't think there's a setting where the date would show up on your page only, without the other ways also.  If your notifications are "pushier" than that, you may have an app that's sending you reminders. (like Calendar or Birthdays)
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: jedikaiti on March 12, 2014, 01:07:45 PM
So for the facebook savvy people out there, is there a way to both leave your birthday visible to friends but not have it send announcements? Because I made a deliberate decision to make the date visible to friends if someone wants to look at my profile and see the date, but don't want it to be pushed (it's that push/pull thing that 'Da Dame is always talking about). I have settings such that FB sends the notice, and I should take control (if possible).

I've never received an "announcement". If I remember to look in the upper right corner (on days when I look at it on a full browser), then I will see whose b-day it is. On days when I look via mobile only, I have to actually go and hunt down whose b-day is that day. Often, I forget.

On occasion, that quick b-day wish leads to a bit of catching up with someone I haven't talked to in a while.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post: non-update, Post 51
Post by: AzaleaBloom on March 17, 2014, 09:01:57 PM
Thanks for all the interesting perspectives!  Oddly enough, getting the confirmation that he was rude made me realize that it really wasn't that big of a deal.  Does that make sense?  I think knowing that I had a reason to be rubbed the wrong way made me feel better, in a strange way.

Anyway, the last time I saw Anthony, it was along with another friend of ours.  While she and I attended each other's weddings in the past year and a half, the last time we actually hung out was four years ago.  I sent her a quick e-mail to see if she had been in touch with him to see if he had anything going on that might have resulted in the response I got.  While she hadn't spoken to him either, we realized it had been way too long since we hung out and are having a girl's dinner Friday.  So yay for that!  :) 
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post: non-update, Post 51
Post by: veronaz on March 17, 2014, 09:40:20 PM
Thanks for all the interesting perspectives!  Oddly enough, getting the confirmation that he was rude made me realize that it really wasn't that big of a deal.  Does that make sense?  I think knowing that I had a reason to be rubbed the wrong way made me feel better, in a strange way.

Anyway, the last time I saw Anthony, it was along with another friend of ours.  While she and I attended each other's weddings in the past year and a half, the last time we actually hung out was four years ago.  I sent her a quick e-mail to see if she had been in touch with him to see if he had anything going on that might have resulted in the response I got.  While she hadn't spoken to him either, we realized it had been way too long since we hung out and are having a girl's dinner Friday.  So yay for that!  :)

I think sending another friend an email to try to inquire about the guy's note was too much.  As I said before, you're overthinking it.  As you said, it shouldn't be that big of a deal.

I hope you have a nice time Friday.  Please try not to bring this guy up.  You're given him way too much time and energy already.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Yvaine on March 18, 2014, 08:51:15 AM


ETA: I just thought of the right word to describe how I feel about birthday wishes from people who never talk to me except when FB tells them they should: its spam. Strangers spamming me on my birthday. How is that fun? :(

I think that if you have people on Facebook that are strangers to you, so much so that it bothers you to have them wish you a happy birthday and consider it spam, you should be cleaning up your friends list. All general you's.

I...actually use birthday notifications as a reminder to periodically trim my list.  :-[ I don't "collect" friends as an intentional habit, but I do occasionally add someone only to find that they've changed vastly since we were last close, or that i thought we were going to click but it turns out we didn't, etc. So when I see a birthday notification for someone I don't know or dislike, someone distant enough that I'd feel weird wishing them a happy birthday, I let that be my reminder to defriend. But since I hate to defriend people on their birthdays, I do it the next day!
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: veronaz on March 18, 2014, 12:02:55 PM
Quote
but I do occasionally add someone only to find that they've changed vastly since we were last close, or that i thought we were going to click but it turns out we didn't, etc.

This is a good point.  It applies on and off FB. 

Sometimes people are initially all gungho......"Yeah! Great! Let's stay in touch, get together, etc. etc." then they fade out.  They're excited about the playfulness/fun of email or FB, but when it comes down to it there's no real friendship/relationship.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Yvaine on March 18, 2014, 12:06:10 PM
Quote
but I do occasionally add someone only to find that they've changed vastly since we were last close, or that i thought we were going to click but it turns out we didn't, etc.

This is a good point.  It applies on and off FB. 

Sometimes people are initially all gungho......"Yeah! Great! Let's stay in touch, get together, etc. etc." then they fade out.  They're excited about the playfulness/fun of email or FB, but when it comes down to it there's no real friendship/relationship.

Yup. I'll often FB-friend someone after hitting it off with them at a party, and sometimes that develops into actual friendship and sometimes it doesn't. Or I'll accept the friend request of a high school classmate I was close to at the time, only to find that their political views involve tinfoil hats. It's not that I'm trying to amass a million friends, it's that I view FB-friendship as a nice casual way to get to know someone a little bit at a time.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: jane7166 on March 21, 2014, 09:18:11 AM
I've had FB "friends" whom I've never actually known wish me a happy birthday this year.  These are "friends" from all over the world from the time a few years ago when we all needed FarmVille helpers in order to play the game.

Some of these people were really fun to interact with, although it rarely happens anymore.  I thought their birthday wishes were nice gestures. 

OP's acquaintance is really overthinking her birthday wishes. 
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Specky on March 21, 2014, 03:10:51 PM
I keep my birthday off of facebook altogether.  It works for me.  :)
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: DanaJ on March 28, 2014, 11:30:33 AM
Hi, this is only tangentally related to the OP, but I wanted to offer it up for consideration:

Please, please take a moment to at least review a person's FB page if you're only posting because Facebook reminded you.

A friend of mine died a few years ago, shortly before his 26th birthday, after battling a very aggressive form of cancer. He was hugely involved in his community as a youth leader and successful athlete. His FB page is maintained as a memorial and there is a memorial scholarship fund set up in his honor for young athletes. A fundraising event for the memorial scholarship fund is held annually on his birthday.

Usually around big holidays, his birthday, and the anniversary of his death, you'll see messages posted to his Facebook wall along the lines of "Missing you. You are in our thoughts every day." His wall is now filled with such messages and information about his memorial fund. But every year, when his birthday rolls around, his wall looks like this:

"Forever in our hearts."
"Missing you."
"Thinking of you this day. Miss you buddy."
"Happy birthday!"   :)
"Wish you were. Raising a glass in your honor."

This is what happens when you post just because FB tells you to, but you haven't actually spent any time interacting with the individual. Please, don't be that person. Take the time to see what's goin on in the person's life (or lack thereof) first.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Yvaine on March 28, 2014, 11:41:39 AM
There is one day of the year that my FB prompt shows me three birthdays, all of whom belonged to people who have passed on. It's a sad and eerie moment every year.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: veronaz on March 28, 2014, 12:33:30 PM
There is one day of the year that my FB prompt shows me three birthdays, all of whom belonged to people who have passed on. It's a sad and eerie moment every year.

Isn't there some way you can block/unfriend/disable that (for those 3 people)?
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Yvaine on March 28, 2014, 12:36:50 PM
There is one day of the year that my FB prompt shows me three birthdays, all of whom belonged to people who have passed on. It's a sad and eerie moment every year.

Isn't there some way you can block/unfriend/disable that (for those 3 people)?

I could probably block them. It feels sort of wrong to do it, though, kwim? Maybe that's just me. I know there's a way the dead person's family can change pages to a "memorial page" but they haven't done so.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Addy on March 29, 2014, 02:47:02 AM
Yeah, when my sister passed away last November, the guy from the funeral home strongly recommended that her husband close her Facebook account, or switch it to memorial, or whatever they do. He didn't do it, and it's quite jarring to see stuff like that.  :(
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: bansidhe on March 29, 2014, 02:53:57 AM
Usually around big holidays, his birthday, and the anniversary of his death, you'll see messages posted to his Facebook wall along the lines of "Missing you. You are in our thoughts every day." His wall is now filled with such messages and information about his memorial fund. But every year, when his birthday rolls around, his wall looks like this:

"Forever in our hearts."
"Missing you."
"Thinking of you this day. Miss you buddy."
"Happy birthday!"   :)
"Wish you were. Raising a glass in your honor."

This is what happens when you post just because FB tells you to, but you haven't actually spent any time interacting with the individual. Please, don't be that person. Take the time to see what's goin on in the person's life (or lack thereof) first.

Wait...what's wrong with that? They're using his Facebook page as a sort of memorial. That doesn't mean that they don't realize he's dead.

As a matter of fact, I saw one of my friends post a memorial happy birthday message on the wall of his deceased friend just a few days ago - him and well over a dozen other people. I thought it was pretty cool.

I also can't comprehend being upset about anyone wishing me happy birthday. I haven't got a clue who a handful of my Facebook friends are nor can I remember how we came to be friends, but I'm always happy when one of them wishes me happy birthday and I don't hesitate to do the same when reminders pop up for their birthdays.

I think, as others have suggested, that OP's friend hit a "milestone" birthday and was in an odd mood. I would just ignore the whole thing.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: Redsoil on March 29, 2014, 03:07:45 AM
I think, Bansidhe, that there was one message there perceived as being out of sync with the memorial BD ones.  The "Happy Birthday :) " stood out from the other messages as though the person didn't realise the recipient was deceased.  Awkward.  Possibly insulting if someone amongst friends or family was especially sensitive about such things. 
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: bansidhe on March 29, 2014, 03:32:04 AM
I think, Bansidhe, that there was one message there perceived as being out of sync with the memorial BD ones.  The "Happy Birthday :) " stood out from the other messages as though the person didn't realise the recipient was deceased.  Awkward.  Possibly insulting if someone amongst friends or family was especially sensitive about such things.

Huh...interesting. I wouldn't bat an eye at that and have seen people post exactly that, fully knowing the person was deceased. Different strokes, I guess!
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: livluvlaf on April 09, 2014, 11:15:33 AM
If it's that big a deal to him, why didn't HE make a move to contact you before? Works both ways...

LOL - I have a cousin like this we're both the same age and similar paths in life, just different cities.

Whenever we saw each other at family functions, we'd end the visit vowing to try harder to stay in touch but never did. Then over the years I heard via her mother she was annoyed with me that I never made good on my promises to call her. I burst out laughing darn those one way phones!

Back to the OP: I would reply "hey, your keyboard does work!" 
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: GrammarNerd on April 14, 2014, 07:39:22 AM
I come into it from a slightly different perspective.  Even if I never hear from some of my FB friends regularly, I still appreciate even the generic 'Happy Birthday!' message from them.  Why?  Because they had to put forth some effort to do that.  Sure, they were prompted, but they still had to click on the prompt and type something out.  Not a big deal, but they still had to make the effort.  And to put in in *my* perspective, I have several somewhat close relatives who will not even do that much to acknowledge my birthday, and I know they're on FB pretty regularly.  So when a very casual FB friend can take that minute to type out a HB message and that somewhat close family member doesn't bother, well, that makes me have a lot more favorable thoughts toward the casual FB friends and less favorable thoughts toward the close relatives.

And for the situation in the OP, I think the birthday boy needs a hobby if he went to the trouble of contacting the OP about her HB message.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: siamesecat2965 on April 14, 2014, 10:13:13 AM
It's so silly. So you aren't close friends, so what? If I find out that it is someone's birthday I wish them a happy birthday. Person at gas station, bank teller, whoever.

If he doesn't want to be Facebook friends with aquantences that's fine. He can defriend them all. But skip the snark.

This is my take on it. My FB friends consist of close friends who I interact with there, and see, on a regular basis. Then there are some from my past, HS, college, who I may or may not have been close with back then, but am still FB friends with. I wish everyone a HB; regardless of how close I am to them. I also don't count or keep track of who wishes ME a HB.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: miranova on April 18, 2014, 02:28:12 PM
I don't really think the little "it's so and so's birthday" in the upper right corner of the page counts as prompting.  Really that's no different from a reminder on your smart phone or your spouse reminding you about someone's birthday.  It's just a reminder.  It's not telling me to do anything and half the time I don't even notice it.

There has been some thoughts expressed here along the lines of "I don't want people wishing me a happy birthday only because they are reminded, I only want it if they actually care about me".  Why does it have to be one or the other?  Maybe they were prompted and ALSO care.  It's not mutually exclusive. 

What it comes down to for me is that I wouldn't accept a friend request from someone if I'm also going to be uncomfortable about them knowing when my birthday is and wishing me a happy birthday.  It seems like a very small and basic thing for a casual friend to do, and if I'm not even casual friends with them, they won't have access to my page to begin with.

Guy in the OP had a very weird response. 
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: DanaJ on April 20, 2014, 09:57:54 AM
I think, Bansidhe, that there was one message there perceived as being out of sync with the memorial BD ones.  The "Happy Birthday :) " stood out from the other messages as though the person didn't realise the recipient was deceased.  Awkward.  Possibly insulting if someone amongst friends or family was especially sensitive about such things.

That is correct. The deceased had been dead for two years and the well-wisher was so out of touch with this individual that he was unaware of all the major upheaval during the last six months of his illness, the enormous community fund raiser events, his death, the funeral, the memorial scholarship established in his name etc.

I remember reading either an Ann Landers or Dear Abby column on sending Christmas cards and it was suggested that if you are so out of the communication loop with an individual that you were utterly unaware of someone's major life events (marriage, baby etc.) then perhaps you were no longer close enough to be sending Christmas cards.

This well-wisher was so personally disconnected/out-of-touch that two years had gone by and he didn't know the young man had died. It can be insulting for the family because it suggests the deceased was unimportant to the well-wisher, otherwise he would have known by now.

Plus, if all the other messages are somber, the sudden shift in tone is jarring and can be disrespectful. You have to know how to evaluate the mood and tone in a room before you start cracking jokes and celebrating.
Title: Re: Weird Reaction to Facebook "Happy Birthday" Post
Post by: miranova on April 20, 2014, 08:57:15 PM
I think, Bansidhe, that there was one message there perceived as being out of sync with the memorial BD ones.  The "Happy Birthday :) " stood out from the other messages as though the person didn't realise the recipient was deceased.  Awkward.  Possibly insulting if someone amongst friends or family was especially sensitive about such things.

That is correct. The deceased had been dead for two years and the well-wisher was so out of touch with this individual that he was unaware of all the major upheaval during the last six months of his illness, the enormous community fund raiser events, his death, the funeral, the memorial scholarship established in his name etc.

I remember reading either an Ann Landers or Dear Abby column on sending Christmas cards and it was suggested that if you are so out of the communication loop with an individual that you were utterly unaware of someone's major life events (marriage, baby etc.) then perhaps you were no longer close enough to be sending Christmas cards.

This well-wisher was so personally disconnected/out-of-touch that two years had gone by and he didn't know the young man had died. It can be insulting for the family because it suggests the deceased was unimportant to the well-wisher, otherwise he would have known by now.

Plus, if all the other messages are somber, the sudden shift in tone is jarring and can be disrespectful. You have to know how to evaluate the mood and tone in a room before you start cracking jokes and celebrating.

If you know it to be a fact that the person was completely unaware of the death, then I agree.  However, I have seen people post "Happy birthday" to people they know full well are no longer alive.  I don't think "happy birthday" in and of itself means "I don't even know you are dead" without other evidence.